Writing a book can open all kinds of doors—reaching more people with your message, securing high profile speaking engagements, meeting like-minded inspiring colleagues and fulfilling a lifelong dream.
Yet, if you’re like most people, you’ve put it off—or started and stopped—for years.
People put off writing their books for a number of reasons:
- No time
- Not sure what to write
- Afraid of success or failure
- Unsure where to start
- Don’t have the support to see it through to the end
- Not a good enough writer
Here are 10 Quick Tips to Get Started that address each of the challenges above.
1. Write Down Your Vision and Goals for the Book: When you’re clear on why you’re writing the book, it will be easier to make the time, commit the resources and write the book that will fulfill your goals. If you have several book ideas, this step can help you choose the one that best fits your goals. Your clarity will propel you forward.
2. Envision Your Readers: When you get a clear picture of who your core audience is—and why they’ll be motivated to buy your book—it will be much easier to write the book—and your book is more likely to succeed in this competitive marketplace.
3. Decide What You’ll Give Up: To find time in your busy life for this book—whether it’s 3 hours a week or 8 or 12, you need time to write. Is there something you can do less of—decrease you patient load for a time, hire a colleague to fill in the slack, put aside a volunteer project temporarily?
4. Prioritize: Put book writing time before e-mails. Make e-mail time your reward after the writing is done. Unplug your phone and turn off e-mail alerts while writing.
5. Schedule: Write down exact times for book writing. If you say you’ll write Saturday mornings, that’s not clear enough. You need a start time and ending time. Of course, if you’re on a roll, you can extend that ending time.
6. Get Professional Support: Most people don’t have the experience to write a book. Join a book writing class, find a skilled editor or book writing coach, but get the professional support you need to help you clarify the book’s concept, tone, features and how you organize it, as well as help you make the writing compelling and polished.
7. Tell Yourself a New Story: If you think you can’t write a book, remind yourself you’re learning and you don’t have to do it alone. A supportive colleague, friend or writing coach can often help you break through this potential block. Just because you’ve never done something doesn’t mean you can’t do it. Tens of thousands of new authors break through that block every year and you can, too.
8. Get Organized: One of the biggest challenges to writing a book is figuring where to start and how to organize the book. I have my book writing students use color coded index cards with content, exercises and questions on them. They move the index cards around to play with how they organize the material.
9. Enjoy the Process: The more fun you have, the more fun your readers will have—and the more often they’ll recommend your book to their friends and colleagues.
10. Start with the End in Mind: Picture a day in your life as a published author. How does your day begin and end? Use your senses to make it real. The more you envision your success, the more you pave the way for it.